Ellingson led Hamilton to new heights
Chargers' standout named to NOW All-Suburban team
Brady Ellingson's name has yet to be painted onto the wall in the Sussex Hamilton gymnasium, a mural featuring the all-time scoring leaders in both the girls and boys basketball programs.
When it finally gets inscribed, it's likely to be placed right at the top.
If you can imagine Ellingson's invisible climb up the school's all-time scoring chart, his 1,177 points through three years with the Chargers has already bypassed second-place Brett Meinecke (1,153) and also Terry Youngbauer (1,004), who graduated in 1979 and also happens to have played on the last Hamilton squad to win a conference title. Until this year.
More than a scoring threat, Ellingson was the leader for a Chargers team that snapped a three-decade long stretch without a crown, and Hamilton finished 21-3 overall and 13-1 in the Greater Metro - tied with Brookfield Central. A double-overtime loss to Central and overtime loss to nonconference foe Wisconsin Lutheran represented two of the three setbacks.
"The top accomplishment that I've had was helping my team win the conference championship," Ellingson said. "It just speaks volumes for the whole team and all the hard work we put in over the summer."
Youngbauer may not have had the 3-point line in his day, and Kameron Cerroni (1,376 points) may not have had a senior year after an ACL tear short-circuited his career, but Ellingson is on track to finish as the greatest scorer the program has ever had. First and foremost, he wants to duplicate this year's achievement of a title, plus more.
"Next year I'll have a little more weight to carry on my shoulders, and I think I'm capable of doing that," Ellingson said, with senior starters Tony Gumina, Mark Gryszkiewicz and Jake Knueppel on their way out. "I think we'll take some teams by surprise next year. We'll be under the radar, but we'll be all right.
"Leaving a mark on the school and with the community, anything I can help do to lead this team (would be awesome)," Ellingson added. "If Kam would have played all four years, he would have had it. It'll just be cool to see my name up there after I graduate. Seeing mine up top would be really special."
A middle-school-aged Ellingson once saw Cerroni, a 2010 graduate, help Hamilton defeat Brookfield Central for the first time ever with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. The program has taken even bigger strides since.
"(This year) will definitely be one to remember," Ellingson said. "It may not feel right now like it was a huge success, but in a few years when we all come back and see that conference championship for 2013 boys basketball on the banner in the gym, it'll really hit us."
Ellingson, whose AAU team also includes Brookfield Central standout Riley LaChance and was already playing at a tournament in St. Louis last weekend, said he'd miss the graduating Hamilton teammates with whom he'd been playing since Jr. Chargers days, as far back as third grade.
"We always had a chemistry and a bond together and worked hard to get where we are," Ellingson said. "I couldn't have asked for a better group of teammates."
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